Shared Facilities

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VC Area / SIO Section Department Facility Description Instruments
EARTH GRD Stable Isotope Facility

The facility includes two stable isotope mass spectrometers (for high precision measurement of3C,15N,18O)and a CHN elemental analyzer. A Thermofinnigan DeltaPlus stable isotope mass spectrometer can be interfaced with either a combustion analyzer or gas bench for DIC/carbonate samples. A ThermoFisherMAT253 mass spectrometer provides comparable analyses with a Kiel IV carbonate device. A Costech 4010 Elemental combustion analyzer is also available for determination of C% and N% of organic and inorganic solid samples.

Director: Chris Charles/Dave Hilton
Contact: Chris Charles/Dave Hilton
CHN Elemental Analyzer, Mass Spectrometer (stable isotope), Elemental Combustion Analyzer
EARTH GRD Chemical Characterization of Complex Environmental Samples Instrumentation

GC High Resolution TOF Mass Spectrometer for Chemical Characterization of Complex Environmental Samples. LECO Pegasus HRT with GCxGC capability.

There is no recharge facility and the cost of use would have to be determined after conversations with the interested user (i.e. sample number, likelihood for recurrent use etc).

Director: Lihini Aluwihare
Contact: Lihini Aluwihare
Mass Spectrometer, HRT with GCxGC capability
EARTH GRD XRF Core Scanner - A Revolutionary Tool for Studying the Long-Term Behavior of Ocean Ecosystems and Climate

XRF Core Scanner. Available to anyone at UCSD and the broader marine sciences community.

There is a recharge system and the schedule is available through the Collections website ( The instrument is scheduled and operated by the SIO Geological Collections manager (Alexandra Hangsterfer) on a re-charge basis.

Director: Richard Norris
Contact: Alex Hangsterfer
XRF Core Scanner (X-ray fluorescence)
EARTH GRD Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer for Water and Organic Applications

Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer with EA and Gas Bench

Contact for use cost.

Director: Lihini Aluwihare
Contact: Lihini Aluwihare
Mass Spectrometer (isotope ratio)
EARTH GRD Rock Powdering Instrumentation

Research purposed rock powdering instrumentation lab that houses a SPEX alumina ceramic grinder, and a couple of SPEX alumina ceramic ball mills; both the grinder and ball mills are used for powdering dry geologic specimens. It also has an alumina ceramic jaw crusher and a tungsten carbide jaw crushers - for crushing chunks of dry geologic specimens; crushed specimens can then be fed to the SPEX instruments for powdering. Limited to SIO personnel after proper training and supervision.

For large amount (or number) of samples, potential users are required to bring their own alumina ceramic grinding canisters, which are parts of the SPEX instruments.  They are brittle and break easily, and are expensive.

Director: Pat Castillo
Contact: Pat Castillo
Grinders, Crushing devices (ceramic and metal), Ball Mills
EARTH IGPP IGPP Hyperwall Projection Systems: Revelle Hyperwall and icluster Display Wall

The Revelle Hyperwall is a 3x2 tile visualization wall (Figure 1) built in-house using six 55" TV's and driven by a single Mac Pro computer ( This Hyperwall, installed in the Revelle 4000 classroom space at IGPP, is used during classes (undergraduate and Graduate students) for large-scale student and professor presentations, and also used for press conferences and special events. The IGPP iCluster Display Wall is an Apple-based solution composed of twelve 30" Cinema Displays driven by 3 PowerMacs (Figure 2). This iCluster project was funded, in part, by the EarthScope (NSF) program's USArray Network Facility and Real-time Observatories, Applications and Data Management Network at Scripps/UCSD, with the collaboration of UCSD's California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology. The system uses the Scalable Adaptive Graphics Environment, or SAGE, software designed for the NSF-funded OptIPuter project by the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

For Access:

Contact: Wayne Chen
Cinema Displays (driven by PowerMacs), Visualization wall
EARTH IGPP Piñon Flat Observatory (PFO)

PFO is operated by the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, and is intended o measure, as accurately as possible, crustal deformation in a tectonically active area, so as to improve our understanding of the earthquake cycle, and so improve estimates of the earthquake hazard throughout southern California. The specific location of PFO was chosen because it was near these faults and because the size of the instruments required a large flat area not covered by alluvium. The flat area (Pinyon Flat) gave the name to the observatory (though we spell the title somewhat differently). The surface material is decomposed granite, grading with depth into unweathered Mesozoic granodiorite. the earthquake cycle, and so improve estimates of the earthquake hazard throughout southern California. Serves as a testing ground for new geophysical instrumentation. Investigators from throughout the world operate instruments at this site. Work at PFO began in 1970, at which time the land was owned by the U.S. Forest Service; it was purchased by the University in 1980 with generous support from Cecil and Ida Green.

Director: Duncan Agnew
Contact: Frank Wyatt
EARTH IGPP ANZA Seismic Network

The ANZA seismic network utilizes state-of-the-art broadband and strong motion sensors with real-time telemetry to monitor local and regional seismicity in southern California. The ANZA network provides digital recordings of high-resolution seismic data for earthquakes in the region.

The ANZA seismic network currently consists of twenty-nine operational stations. Most of the stations are located along the San Jacinto fault starting with IWR and RDM towards the top of the map, and TONN and USGCB on the right side of the map. The San Jacinto fault is one of the two most dangerous faults in southern California, the other being the San Andreas Fault. All of the ANZA San Jacinto fault stations are well positioned for earthquake early warning. The remaining ANZA stations provide coverage of the Elsinore fault (SMER, MONP2), San Diego region (SOL, CPE, MTRP), the underserved off-shore region (SCI2), and a public outreach project at Cal State Long Beach (CSLB).
Proximity to Fault is Critical to Early Warning
The ANZA Seismic Network provides extensive real time coverage of the San Jacinto Fault Zone, augmenting the regional coverage provided by the Southern California Seismic Network. Due to their proximity to the active faults, ANZA network stations are well positioned for Earthquake Early Warning with 20 stations positioned very close to the fault between Hemet and Ocotillo Wells, covering the highest risk segment of the fault for more than 120 km. The ANZA stations can provide about 25 seconds of early warning to downtown San Diego from a large event on the San Jacinto Fault Zone. Early warning from large events on the San Andreas Fault should be at least 40 seconds. The ANZA network and Seismic Warning Systems are starting to work together to integrate their systems to improve early warning times, leveraging the best aspects of both systems.

Director: Frank Vernon
Contact: Frank Vernon
Motion Sensors with real-time telemetry (broadband and strong), Data Network (wireless large-scale high-performance)
EARTH IGPP High Performance Wireless Research & Education Network (HPWREN)

The HPWREN program creates a large-scale wireless high-performance data network that is being used for interdisciplinary research and education applications, as well as a research test bed for wireless technology systems in general. HPWREN provides wide area wireless internet access throughout southernmost California including San Diego, Imperial, and Riverside counties and the offshore regions. Under UCSD's HPWREN program, research being conducted on building "last kilometer" wireless links and developing networking infrastructure to capture real-time data from multiple types of sensors from seismic networks, hydrological sensors, oceanographic sensors, wildfire cameras, meteorological sensors, as well as data from coastal radar and GPS. Any IP based sensor deployed within line-of-sight of the multiple mountaintop sites are a candidate to utilize HPWREN. Current HPRWEN coverage is shown at

Director: Frank Vernon
Contact: Frank Vernon
Data network (high-performance)

SIO Staff Shop is well equipped with the following equipment: Lathes: One mid-size engine lathe, one Hardinge 'toolmaker's' lathe, one tabletop 'hobby' lathe.
Mills: One CNC (programmable), vertical mill, two Bridgeport vertical milling machines, plus one 'Bridgeport clone' mill.
Standing drill presses: One large 'radial' (large capacity) drill press, one smaller industrial drill press, one drill press modified for tapping threads.
Power saws: One large 'Do-All' band saw, one small 'hobby' band saw, one horizontal 'cut-off' band saw. No table saws.
Abrasive saws: One large 'chop saw', one smaller precision abrasive saw.
Grinders: Several bench-mounted abrasive grinders, buffing wheels, and 'wire wheel'. One 'disc sander', one mounted belt sander.
Presses: One large hydraulic press, one laboratory hydraulic press, one large and several small bench presses, two small punch presses.
Mounted shears: One large shear table, one smaller vertical shear, one corner-notcher shear, one bench shear, one 'angle-iron' shearing and bending device.
Bending machines: One floor-mounted bending machine, one sheet-metal 'brake'.
Honing machine: One.
Endmill sharpener: One.
Bead-blaster ('sand-blaster'): One.
Stencil-maker: One.
Arc-welder (garage size): One
Acetylene torch kit: One.
Balance scale: One commercial-size.

Contact for use cost.

Director: Wayne Farquharson
Contact: John Mortimer
Lathes, Milling machines, Drill press, Saws, Grinders, Presses, Shears (mounted), Bending machines, Holding machines, Sharpener, Sand-blaster, Stencil-maker, Welder